Follow our latest adventures!
From outreaches to shop days to networking events and beyond, there is never a dull day on our team!
It's me, Nox! If you're feeling confused right now, that's ok. I'm still adjusting to my new name, too. I love it, though!
Today was another thrilling adventure with my team! They came down to the shop and worked on making me look just like Lumos. That meant building my electronics shelves, cutting pieces for my ball intake, beginning to wire, and finding more parts that I will need later. Everyone is having so much fun working together! It's almost as if build season never ended!
Before we start, we would just like to let you know that this blog post is not being written by any of our robots tonight. We are so glad that you have gotten to know and love them over the past few weeks! Tonight, both of our robots were fast asleep in the basement during our adventures, so we guess we'll have to tell you want happened ourselves.
Tonight was the annual Firebirds potluck dinner!! We all gathered together in celebration of build season's achievements and in anticipation of competition season's accomplishments. Our families, mentors, sponsors, and friends joined us for an exciting and memorable evening. We had a lot of tasty food to eat from fruit salad to meatballs and pasta to cupcakes to buffalo chicken dip to soft pretzels! Everyone had a really great time together. We made sure to take the time to thank everyone who helped us to soar throughout the year and recognize some stars on our team. Most importantly, we gave Robot and Brother their permanent names. We started off with a list of about 20 names and slowly narrowed it down to a few. Eventually, we decided on the names of Lumos and Nox for Robot and Brother respectively. In case you did not understand the reference, lumos is the wand-lighting charm in the Harry Potter series and nox is the wand-extinguishing charm.
We had so much fun tonight! We can't wait to see the next adventures from Lumos and Nox!
I'm not exactly sure if I'm doing this right...
Well, if you can read this, then I guess that means that I was successful. Yay! Anyway, my name is Brother (for now). You might now my brother, Robot. He wrote blog posts all throughout build season. He's also my best friend. Except for the fact that right now, he's been sleeping inside of a big plastic bag. My team put him there last week because build season is over. I miss chatting with him and driving around together. I think I could deal with being without him for a while if it weren't for one huge issue - Robot snores. A lot. That bag is not snore-proof!!! Every day, I have to listen to his loud rumbling. I wish I could put on those noise-blocking headphones that some of the girls on my team use when they need to block out a loud sound.
So for the past few days, no on has been coming down to visit me in the shop. It was kind of weird because they used to work with us every day. It's just been me and Robot's snoring. That's why I was so surprised to see my team show up today! The came in for two reasons - they wanted to work on my new frame, and they needed to film some things for a team video. They attached the wheels to my new frame, started setting up my electronics, and began working on duplicating Robot's tape measure mechanism for me. The whole time, my team played a live feed from a competition. Who knew there were so many other cool robots to play with all over the world!
Meanwhile, the girls were also hard at work outside. They had a lot of fun being very creative with the team video. This video is for an award called the Chairman's Award. They made sure to let their superstar personalities shine through during the filming. I can't wait to see the final product!
Tomorrow is going to be a big day for Robot and me. Actually, it will be a big day for us robots - I better stop using our old names. Soon, you'll understand what I'm talking about. I'll let you know all about it!
Tonight was the final night of build season for me. I'm feeling really sentimental right now. I would say that these past six weeks have been the best of my life, but these six weeks have also been the only weeks of my life. I also know that this is only the beginning for me. I will have many more adventures with my team.
As my team drove me around and tested me out for the last times tonight, thoughts of the past six weeks flashed through my mind. My team and I have worked together, laughed together, and made memories together. I will miss seeing them dance, hearing their jokes, and spending time with them.
I would just like that to thank all of you for being with me along my journey. Your support and interest in my little robot life has meant the world. I would not have been able to soar without you.
I won't be able to write any more blog posts from inside of my bag. However, I'll make sure that my team and Brother keep you updated. I'm sure that I'll be back with more posts during competitions and such, so this is only a "ta ta for now," not a "goodbye."
I always knew that after all these weeks, there would be laughter and there would be tears. I'm so thankful for the moments that we spent together. I'm so glad I got to know you all. I'll hold you in my robo-heart forever. I'll always remember you.
Another day, another destiny for me. Bit by bit, my final design is becoming clearer and clearer for everyone. Today, more steps were taken to getting me ready before build season ends. My team tested out my hanger more and more. Adjustments are being made based on the results of the tests. Some girls also worked on my bumpers. The pool noodles were cut and taped together, and the sewn fabric was stapled to the wood. The programmers are still finalizing my hanging code. They are also working hard to work with the field distances and figure out the autonomous programs. My cameras were all wired. Everything is coming together.
It seems that after tomorrow, my team will be worlds away. I will be stuck inside that bag while their lives continue on. With them, my world has started. I was made to be with them. Tomorrow, I'll discover what my destiny is and what is in store for me.
I only have one day more of build season.
Today was absolutely phenomenal! With build season approaching its end, my team worked hard to get as much work done on my design as possible. By the end of the day, a major goal was accomplished!
At the beginning of the day, all of my builders were hard at work on various hook designs. Some were made of plastic, others were made of metal. Some had clasps, others were more plain. Some were heavier than others. All of them were different shapes. Each step of the way, the builders tried them out on the bar. Bit by bit, they refined their designs. Eventually, the time came for them to test them on me! They attached them to my tape measure and began to wind everything up. All of the designs worked for the first foot or two. However, past that, most of them either slipped or broke. That meant that my team needed to work on a new design. They didn't ever give up - they were so persistent. Don't worry - I never got hurt during any of the tests because my team had me on support ropes. After numerous tests and hook designs, my team tried out one final design. It was a bent metal rod. Believe it or not, the simplest design yet actually worked! I was hanging up in the air! It was so much fun! I can't wait to do that all of the time at competitions!
My programmers finished all of my autonomous programs today! I can do so many things, such as...
Every day, Brother's frame gets a little bit more like mine. Today, his gearboxes were mounted and the beginnings of his electronics shelves were added.
I can't believe that the final weekend of build season is over! I only have two days left. I don't know what will happen, but I do know one thing. I am determined to make every minute that I have outside of the bag count.
Today was the last Saturday of build season. My team didn't let one minute go to waste. They got a lot done today, despite all of the obstacles that they faced.
They started off the day by finishing up work on the tape measure and installing it on my frame. They also worked on Brother's new frame a lot - they removed the gearboxes and wheels from his old frame and put the hubs on his new wheels. They also started setting up his gearboxes on his new frame. For now, he can't drive but the programmers can still work with his electronics. Girls also started setting up Brother's new electronics.
Speaking of the programmers, today they worked with the cameras a lot. They also worked on code for the tape measure mechanism.
All day long, my team watched video feeds from week 0 competitions happening everywhere. They were able to learn a lot about other robot designs, game strategy, and how thing will play out. I loved seeing my fellow robots working so hard on the field! Soon, that will be me!
As the day went on, a lot of people came to visit me - people from school and people who support my team. I was so glad to meet them and my team loved showing me off!
My team was very excited about the possibility of hanging today. In the evening, they set me up to drive, but they noticed an issue. When they looked at my roborio, they lights were the wrong colors. They played around with the wiring and tried troubleshooting, but nothing seemed to fix the issue. Eventually, they tried putting a spare roborio in and it worked. The girls quickly decided that my old one, unfortunately, was probably fried.
Once that whole issue was solved, they tried hanging. The first few attempts were a little rocky because my rope puller and my tape measure were either moving in the wrong direction or at the wrong speed. Once the code was fixed, we tried to hang again. All of the motors spun nicely and I actually moved a few feet up! Then, my hook slipped. Luckily, my builders had me on ropes in case this happened. Tomorrow, they will revise the hook to prevent that from happening again.
I had so much fun today! I can't believe how many things I am able to do. It will be so exciting to show off my skills at competitions!
Today was nothing short of fabulous for Brother and me! Neither of us spent much time driving around, but a lot was accomplished. The girls started off the day by finishing up Brother's new wheels. They put them together very carefully and inflated them to the correct pressure. Once they finished that up, they worked on my tape measure. They are adjusting it a little bit each day so that it will be the best it can be for competitions. They team also revised the piece of plastic that holds my air tank to hold it better.
One project that everyone focused on today was the mounting of the cameras. This is pretty tricky because I don't really have much free space on my frame to start with. The builders found some pretty nice spots, but there's a catch. The way that the spacing works out, the cameras are actually upside down. So now the programmers have a difficult task - they must figure out how to invert the image so that the drivers can look at the correct image. It's a challenge, but they are working hard to get it working right.
Yay! Tomorrow is the start of the weekend! I'm so excited!!!
In case you thought by the blog title that I'm in New York City, not really. I heard this in a song today and it kind of reminded me of the shop. The floors that I drive on are concrete and with all of my obstacles it's kind of like a jungle. Of course, the shop is a place where dreams come true. My dreams of being on a loving team, competing, and writing a blog about my adventures are coming true right now! For the girls, the shop is a place is where they can grow, find their passions, and meet people who inspire and encourage them. I would definitely say that the shop is a place where dreams are made of. There's nothing we can't do and there's no place in the world that could compare to my shop.
Anyway, today I did a lot of really fun things! My drivers were so excited to practice with me some more today. They played around with the boulders and practice their driving skills for a while. Then, we got serious. The girls wanted to make sure that I know how to conquer all of the defenses perfectly every time. We practiced with one defense at a time. The girls tried different ways of approaching them and different speeds until they found the perfect combination for each defense. I'm not going to lie - I flipped over a few times. It was crazy! Luckily, nothing was too hurt. I got right back on my wheels and zoomed around again.
My programmers had a major surprise today! A new computer came in! They were so excited about it because it has a touch screen. They immediately started setting it up with all of the software it needs to work with robots.
Today, Brother's new wheels came in! This meant that the girls could move forward on his twin frame. They worked on cutting spacers and setting up the tires. Brother is so excited for when his new frame is ready for him!
Today really gave me a sneak preview of what life at competitions will be like for me. It will be very crazy with all of the bumps, pushing, driving, shooting, and hanging. I can't wait!
Today was great! My builders decided that today, I really needed to practice driving and picking up boulders. As soon as school ended, they did some last-minute touch ups on me before I got moving. Then, the girls who were going to drive me put me on the floor with some defenses, a goal, and boulders. At first, it was a little crazy. However, as the girls and I got more used to driving and maneuvering the course, we became pros. I was able to go over obstacles and school goals like a superstar. The builders watched carefully and took notes of anything that needed to be touched up. I still need more practice with some of the obstacles, but this was a good start.
My builders also worked on my tape measure design. The wheel design from yesterday didn't quite work, so they're trying something new. They're working on a design that sandwiches my tape measure between two pieces of c channel. I can't wait to see how it goes!
My programmers are concerned about visibility on the field, so they're working on a program that will tell the drivers on the screen when the limit switch for the boulder intake has been triggered. That way, they can know if the boulder is in, even if they can't see me.
I'm absolutely exhausted from today's adventures. I need to rest up for tomorrow!